COEUR d'ALENE — Once senior Lilly Kelley found her range, so did the Timberlake Tigers on Wednesday night at North Idaho College.
And whether it be from the key, or from beyond the 3-point line, the next target the Tigers will zero in on will be a third straight state title starting next Thursday at Skyview High in Nampa.
Kelley, a three-year varsity player, hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points as the top-seeded Tigers rolled past the third-seeded Kellogg Wildcats 70-24 in the 3A District 1 championship game at Rolly Williams Court.
“They just weren't guarding me, I guess,” the 5-foot-5 Kelley said. “I was just open, so I shot it and it went in.”
“She's not afraid of the moment,” Timberlake coach Matt Miller said of Kelley, who finished one 3-pointer shy of the school record of seven she set earlier this year. “She's not afraid to score. She's just making the appropriate play and she did that tonight. She had way more open looks than she should have. She's just been making the right play all year long.”
Kelley, one of three four-year players at the varsity level, came off the bench in the Tigers' previous two state title runs. Freshman Brooke Jessen scored 13 points and senior Shelby Starr, who was named the league MVP following the game, added nine for Timberlake, which won its fourth straight district title.
“It's been fun to see different people step up and show what their roles are,” Kelley said. “It's good to see that the time we've put it is really shown.”
Timberlake used an 18-0 run on the way to a 20-6 lead after the first quarter. The Tigers went on a 24-0 run in the second half to build a 54-12 lead in the third quarter.
“I really liked our effort at the start of the first and third quarter,” Timberlake coach Matt Miller said. “The strength of this team is our balance. We've got six kids that are averaging between 8 and 11 points, or something crazy like that. We're really balanced and share the ball well. We just make the appropriate play to the appropriate person.”
Timberlake (18-3) opens at state next Thursday at 12:15 p.m. PST against Buhl (16-7).
“Just our consistency needs to be better from game to game,” Miller said. “We look incredible at times, and sometimes we have some lulls and I think just every team is going to slow down at times. We've just got to be a little more consistent.”
Kellogg (7-11) travels to second-seeded Bonners Ferry (17-5) in the district second-place game on Friday at 6 p.m. That winner advances to state, and will open against the winner of tonight's District 5 championship game between Marsh Valley and Snake River.
“We just weren't disciplined,” first-year Kellogg coach Jana Nearing-Kothe said. “We just fell apart and our organization wasn't there. Timberlake's a tough team, and they get after it and they've got a very disciplined defense. And sometimes when that pressure kicks, their brains stop functioning and we stop running our offense. We never started clicking on offense, but we handled their pressure well.”
In the first round on Monday, Kellogg upset Bonners Ferry 44-40.
In a loser-out game Wednesday, Bonners Ferry eliminated Priest River (4-18) 70-22.
Kellogg 6 6 2 12 — 24
Timberlake 20 16 25 9 — 70
KELLOGG — Cates 7, Riekena 4, Nusz 0, Rauenhorst 1, Van Hoose 0, Senteney 4, Sheppard 3, Bristow 0, Figueroa 5, Brandt 0, Ferreira 0, Allred 0.
TIMBERLAKE — Tonkin 5, Starr 9, Soumas 4, Kelley 22, Bronson 2, Jessen 13, Bremer 2, Allen 2, Linehan 0, Jezek 4, Willis 6.
Coach of the Year — Matt Miller, Timberlake
MVP — Shelby Starr, sr., Timberlake
McKeeley Tonkin, jr., Timberlake; Lilly Kelley, sr., Timberlake; Taryn Soumas, fr., Timberlake; Brooke Jessen, fr., Timberlake; Kaylee Jezek, sr., Timberlake; Miranda Wenk, sr., Bonners Ferry; Kadi Bateman, sr., Bonners Ferry; Kassy Skeen, sr., Bonners Ferry; Kaili Cates, sr., Kellogg.